Porterhouse Steak with Blue Cheese Butter
I like cheap meat. Not cheap as in low quality, but I tend to gravitate towards the more inexpensive cuts of beef. I'm pro griller at skirt, flank, and hanger steaks, all on the cheaper side of spectrum, but still delivering a deep, beefy flavor. So when I decided to go for a porterhouse one night, I was steeping into almost uncharted steak territory, feeling both uncomfortable with the price I paid for a steak and my ability to grill such an expense perfectly.
Going to the butcher and picking out such a large, beautiful slab of beef was a bit exhilarating in itself. The steaks I normally buy don't fit the classic picture of beef the way a porterhouse does, and something primeval kicked in that gave me a feeling of conquest when I brought the steak home and held it in my hands. With such a gorgeous piece of meat, I saw no reason to do anything more to it than add the standard salt and pepper and let it come to room temperature before slapping it on the grill.
Although I consider myself a bit of a purest, I also don't know when to leave well enough alone. This led me to want to top the beef with something, opting for a classic blue cheese butter to go with a classic steakhouse cut. While the charcoal was lighting and the steak was warming up, I mixed some butter, blue cheese, shallot, garlic, and parsley together to make a tangy compound butter as a topper for the steak.
With the butter made and charcoal arranged for a two-zone fire, the fateful moment arrived where beef was to meet heat. After consulting the always helpful Cooks Illustrated, I felt cautiously optimistic that the process I decided on would result in a perfectly cooked, medium-rare steak. I started the steak over the hot side of the grill, tenderloin portion facing the cooler side, and cooked until a nice crust formed on each side. The I moved it to the cool side of the grill, with the bone side of the steak facing the fire, covered and let it cook until medium-rare, flipping it half way through.
After coming off the grill, I let the steak rest for 10 minutes before topping it with the blue cheese butter and digging in. As I had hoped, the grilling method produced an evenly cooked, medium-rare steak. Compared to the steaks I normally choose, this cut of beef had an absolute balance of flavor, tenderness, and fat, each piece melting in my mouth. Even though the steak did not need any flavor enhancement, I was really glad I made the blue cheese butter, since it added a nice tang that complimented, but didn't overpower, the main flavor of the beef. Although financial realities will ensure that I'll be sticking to my more modestly priced cuts of beef for foreseeable future, I now know the greatness that I'm working towards.
Porterhouse Steak with Blue Cheese Butter
- Yield 4 servings
- Prep 10 Minutes
- Cook 20 Minutes
- Total 30 Minutes
- 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons blue cheese
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 small garlic glove, minced
- 2 Porterhouse steaks, 1 1/2" thick
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Season the steaks liberally with salt and pepper and allow it to come to room temperature while preparing the grill.
- Light a chimney 3/4 full of charcoal. While the charcoal is lighting, mix the butter, blue cheese, shallot, parsley, and garlic together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- When charcoal is fully lit and covered in gray ash, pour coals out and arrange them on one side of the charcoal grate, keeping the other side empty. Scrub and oil the grill grate.
- Grill the steaks directly over the coals for 6 minutes on each side, with the tenderloin portion of the steaks always facing the cooler side of the grill. Move the steaks to the cool side of the grill with the bone side facing the fire. Cover and continue to cook until desired doneness (about 6 additional minutes for medium-rare), flipping halfway through cooking. Remove steaks from the grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Top each steak with the blue cheese butter mixture and serve.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
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S.P. Your photos are AWESOME!
josh! @S.P.: thanks =)
mfriedling Hi Joshua....would this method work with a rib eye?
Josh @mfriedling Yup. You should also look at this article and consider doing a reverse sear depending on the size of your steaks.
mfriedling Thanks for the link, it was an excellent article. I Will be trying it your way....especially with the blue cheese butter. I can't wait for my sisters birthday later this month! This is what I will be doing!